About ARNO


Sammy and his ball at our shelter, now
happy in his forever home in Oregon.
Photo by Jackie Quick ©2007.

Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit grassroots volunteer organization founded by Jane Garrison and two of her good friends. Involved in hands-on Katrina rescue in the greater New Orleans area, Jane was one of the first out-of-town persons on the scene at ‘rescue headquarters’ located at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, LA. Jane worked with hundreds of volunteers to rescue thousands of animals, and then Lamar-Dixon shut down in October 2005.

Jane was the catalyst in putting together a talented and committed team of volunteers and staff from around the country that worked to urgently assist displaced pets and their families… ARNO was formed in October 2005. Best Friends Animal Society also provided immeasurable support and shelter care to the ARNO animal relief effort between mid-October 2005 and through February 2006.


A pile of tabby babies rescued from
the street in July 2007.
Photo by Lise McComiskey ©2007.

On February 1, 2006, locals gathered at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel to meet with Jane and transition the administration of ARNO to local hands. Charlotte Bass Lilly, a local New Orleanian and a known animal welfare figure, took the lead position from Jane and united a network of dedicated locals to continue the ardent work that Jane and legions of other tireless volunteers from across the nation had begun. Charlotte, too, was early on the scene at Lamar-Dixon, arriving directly behind the LA/SPCA animal control officers and working in water/land rescue under their direction. Today locals who are able, continue to assist in the daily operation of ARNO’s no-kill triage shelter, controlled feeding & trapping, TNR program, rescues, reunites, fosters and adoptions, in addition to hundreds of out-of-state volunteers. Out-of-state volunteers consistently provide volunteers on the ground, as well as assist with remote volunteer duties from the cities in which they reside. Non-profit volunteer organizations, as well as faith-based organization, also assist supplying volunteers to ARNO’s no-kill triage shelter. In addition high school and college students volunteer to fulfill community service hours required of them. 

Current ARNO efforts include:

  •  Controlled Food and Water/Trapping program has evolved into colony managers taking responsibility for feral cats, recognizing the value of feral cats in an urban and suburban environment as hunters; the colony managers’ cooperation allows ARNO trappers to help get all these animals sterilized so that overpopulation is averted. Food/water stations are now only set up where it is desired to draw an animal for trapping, to move animals to another locale, or where there is no food/water source.
  • Humane trapping of lost pets left homeless, injured, newborn or pregnant.
  • Medical triage and daily care at the ARNO Plauche St. no-kill shelter location.
  • Feral (wild) dog rehab program, allows these creatures to gain trust of humans, acquainting them with how a domesticated dog responds to stimuli, and, the last stage, preparing them to live in a home by fostering them with experienced handlers in their own homes; ARNO is proud to be only one of two organizations in the country to give these ‘unadoptables’ a second chance at a life of unconditional love.
  • Adoption of pets both locally and throughout the country to well-screened applicants; PetFinder site (LA shelter 181) to view animals ready for adoption and/or foster.
  • Reunion of lost pets with their original families and caretakers.
  • TNR (trap-neuter-release) of feral cats.
  • Assistance to pets of caretakers who have been left indigent since Katrina and desire to keep their pets, preventing them from being surrendered to municipal shelters or abandoned to the street.
  • Offsite adoptions through PETCO Tchoupitoulas Street, uptown location; and through other outlets that recognize the importance of the human/animal bond.
  • Foster Program to house healthy animals ready for adoption to acquaint them with life within a household, \while going through post-surgery rehab and heartworm treatment, or just waiting for transport to a new home in another state.
  • Volunteer program allows ARNO to continue our work in all of the above areas, i.e. we are all volunteer!  

ARNO is still hard at work. As of August 2009 over 5,500 companion animals have found loving homes that have come through our shelter. There are thousands of animals still to be fed, trapped, cared for, reunited, fostered and adopted. ARNO survives on volunteer labor and charitable contributions. ARNO works under the authority and regulations of the local animal control facilities in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes, as well as the parishes of St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, Terrebonne and Lafayette. 

ARNO's Mission Statement:

Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) is an organization created and dedicated to the rescue and aid of abandoned and homeless animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi, including responding to the immediate needs of those animals in need of medical care, or who have been neglected, abused and deprived of love. ARNO promotes the foster, adoption and reunion of pets with caretakers, as well as spaying/neutering of all companion animals. 

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